Famous & infamous computers of the 70's & 80's.

From: Larry Anderson <foxnhare_at_jps.net>
Date: Sun Dec 26 12:14:49 1999

> Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 01:21:56 GMT
> From: "David Vohs" <netsurfer_x1_at_hotmail.com>
> Here is a varied list of computers (and computer-related things) that were
> either famous or infamous for various reasons
> First, the infamous ones
> Computer with the worst keyboard: (tie) Sinclair ZX-81/Timex Sinclair 1000 &
> IBM PC Jr.

I agree with the other respondents, the original PET keyboard is hard to type
on period. At least on the PC-jr you had decent spacing. Later pet keyboards
were a vast improvement but not the best. Atari 400 could also be on the
list, but the touch sensors were better then Sinclair's.

> Computer with the slowest disk drive: Commodore 64(C).

A sad tale goes with that distinction, it is capable of much better speed but
certain marketing/design choices were made for the wrong reasons. :(

> Most infamous computer by price: Apple Lisa.
I remember seeing that in a computer store, $10,000, wow! had nice demos, though.

> And now the famous ones
> Computer with the best keyboard: (tie) Commodore 64(C), & TRS-80 Model 12.
> Computer with the best speech synthesizer: TI-99/4A.
There are sooo many, I would have to suggest the "Alien Voicebox" (Atari and
Commodore VIC/64) that sythesiser has (software controllable) pitch/speed and
is able to SING! ;) Amiga was good. As for Commdore 64 voice sythesisers I
can list SAM, Easy Speech, VoiceMaster, Votrax, Alien Voicebox, Commodore's,
and a couple magazine projects..

> Most famous "vaporware" computer: Xerox Alto.
Vaporware should reflect something that was promised but never saw the light
of day. I would put the Commodore 8-bit LCD in the running, man did I WANT
one of those!

> Computer with the best sound hardware: (tie) TI-99/4A & Commodore 64(C).
Yep, Amiga also should be on the list.

> Computer with the coolest pitchman: William Shatner. (VIC-20)
Even though I hate IBM I thought the chaplinesque hobo was nice.

> Computer with the coolest case design: TI-99/4A. (The case reminds me of a
> Delorean. Remember those?)
I liked the Atari 800, pop open expansion bay, four joystick ports (in the
front no less!)

> Computer with the best introductory commercial: Apple Macintosh. ("On
> January 24, Apple will introduce Macintosh. And you will see why 1984 won't
> be like "1984"".)
I agree.

Here are some more:

Most imfamous sales life: Mattell Aquarius and Coleco Adam.
Most famous Sales life: Commodore 64(c) estimated 17 million sold for one model.
Least Innovative initial release: IBM PC (only really new features were the
price tag and the logo)
Most overrated antique: MITS Altair (surely not as unique as some, and way
more production than others)
Most infamous bug-box: TRS-80 (earned the nickname Trash-80 for all the
service work needed), second possibly the original PET (the original ROMs were
pretty buggy)
Most infamous Computer Monitor: Osborne 1 with it's 4" (?) black & white display.

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  Larry Anderson - Sysop of Silicon Realms BBS  (209) 754-1363  300-2400 baud
      Commodore 8-bit page at:  http://www.jps.net/foxnhare/commodore.html
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Received on Sun Dec 26 1999 - 12:14:49 GMT

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